Auto Technician Certification A Boon to Motorists
Finding a competent auto technician should not be a matter of chance. A good deal of the guesswork has been eliminated, thanks to the efforts of the independent, nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE tests and certifies automotive professionals in all major technical areas of repair and service. With some 400,000 currently certified professionals, ASE's program is national in scope and has industrywide acceptance and recognition. ASE-certified technicians and parts specialists can be found at every type of repair facility - from dealerships, service stations and franchises to parts stores, independent garages and even municipal fleets. Before taking ASE certification tests, many technicians attend training classes or study on their own in order to brush up on their knowledge.
By passing difficult national tests, ASE-certified technicians prove their technical competence to themselves, to their employers and to their customers. Certification is not for life; ASE requires its technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified. And while ASE does not certify repair shops, it stands to reason that those shop owners and managers who support their service employees' efforts to become technically certified will be concerned about the other aspects of their business as well. Repair establishments with at least one ASE technician are permitted to display the ASE sign. Each ASE professional is issued personalized credentials listing his or her exact area or areas of certification and an appropriate shoulder insignia.
Technicians are also issued certificates that employers often post in the customer-service area, and employers often display the blue and white ASE sign. Businesses with a high level of commitment to the ASE program (75 percent of service personnel certified) are entitled to a special "Blue Seal of Excellence" recognition from ASE. These elite facilities are among the best in the nation. More than 1,700 businesses participate in this growing program. As with other professionals, automotive technicians often specialize. It's wise to ask the shop owner or service manager for a technician who is certified in the appropriate area based on your needs. For instance, the technician could specialize in brakes, engine repair or air conditioning.
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